10/12/2006 11:00PM

Super Frolic, winless in '06, to try BC Classic


ARCADIA, Calif. - Super Frolic, winless in six starts this year including a fifth in the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting on Oct. 7, will make his next start in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4, trainer Vladimir Cerin said.

Super Frolic, 6, is owned by Millennium Farms and is scheduled to go to stud at the end of the year. By Pine Bluff, Super Frolic has won 11 of 38 starts and $1,385,614.

"Why not?" Cerin said on Friday. "He came out of this race better than any race since I've had him. He's like a red flame, bounding down the track. He's feeling good. He feels like he didn't even run."

In the Goodwood, Super Frolic finished 4 1/2 lengths behind Lava Man in the field of seven. During the summer, Super Frolic finished third in the Hollywood Gold Cup and Pacific Classic, losing both races to Lava Man, one of the two top BC Classic hopefuls, along with Bernardini.

"His race in the Pacific Classic is better than his finish [indicates]," Cerin said. "He was four wide on both turns."

Super Frolic is winless in seven starts since the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup in Chicago in September 2005. He was fourth in the 2005 Breeders' Cup Classic at Belmont Park, finishing 2 3/4 lengths behind Saint Liam, the 2005 Horse of the Year.

"He'll be very likely to be retired to stud in Kentucky after this race," Cerin said of the Breeders' Cup. "I think he'll put up a good fight."

Court back riding after family tragedy

Jockey Jon Court resumed riding at Santa Anita on Thursday, a day after the funeral of his brother James in Florida.

Court left California last weekend to be with family after James Court died when he was struck by a car while bicycling in Sanford, Fla., Jon Court said.

In the Santa Anita barn area Friday, Court did not get far before someone would stop him to offer condolences. "It's been overwhelming," he said of the response from backstretch friends. "People didn't know my brother, but the racetrack is an extended family."

Court blinked hard when he recalled his brother, who was 47. The two had grown closer in recent years, sometimes talking several times a day on the telephone.

"We were making up for lost time," Court said. "He called me quite regularly. He'd watch the race and call. If I had a slow week, he'd call and say, 'I saw you on that horse and I'm praying for you.' "

James Court was not involved in racing, but occasionally watched Jon Court ride when he was based in the Midwest.

"His little bet was $50," Jon Court recalled. "I'd say, 'But I didn't like anything today. Why did you bet?' He'd say, 'I know, but you bring in those longshots.' "

James Court worked with bronze and recently bronzed one of his brother's bobbleheads, a giveaway at Ellis Park a few years ago. The bronzed bobblehead is one of Jon Court's favorite mementos, standing alongside a few of his trophies at his home.

Entries sluggish

Santa Anita officials delayed the draw of Sunday's races for 24 hours from Thursday to Friday after a slow day of entries on Thursday.

Sunday's nine-race program drew 68 horses. The largest field is 10 horses, for a maiden race for 2-year-olds on turf, the ninth race.

Director of racing Mike Harlow said a crowded racing schedule since late July can have an effect during the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting.

"I think six days of racing per week is taking its toll," he said.

Harlow said that cheaper claimers are not as readily available in two-turn races as he expected.

"Typically, those are the ones that you can rely on to have full fields," he said.

Fields have averaged 8.2 horses through Monday, the 11th day of the 25-day meeting, according to Harlow.

"If we can surpass eight at Oak Tree, we're happy," he said.

The Oak Tree meeting runs through Oct. 31. Harlow predicts that next week "will be a little sluggish," but that the last week of the meeting will have heavier entries. One program, the California Cup on Oct. 28, typically has strong entries, since it offers lucrative stakes for statebreds.

The new synthetic surface at Hollywood Park might be having an impact on the number of Oak Tree starters, too. Hollywood Park's barn area is full, and some horsemen may be awaiting the start of that meeting on Nov. 1 instead of running a horse in the final weeks of Oak Tree.

"I've heard rumbles from agents that horses are working there but aren't being pointed for a race" at Santa Anita, Harlow said.

• Jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. has hired Vince DeGregory to book his mounts. Arroyo was previously represented by Jim Pegram, who left Arroyo earlier this week to represent Patrick Valenzuela.